Archdiocese Vandals Confess to 21 Other Burglaries

The office of a prominent lawyer and the National Social Security Fund in Badaro were among the targets of a gang of thieves who were formally charged two weeks ago with robbing and vandalizing the Greek Orthodox archdiocese, the Internal Security Forces said in a statement Friday.

The ISF arrested three men, Mohammad Merhi, Issa Merehbi and Charbel Mrad, formally charging them late last month with looting and vandalizing the Greek Orthodox archdiocese in Ashrafieh.

According to the statement, in addition to the archdiocese, the three men confessed to 21 other burglaries, including one that targeted lawyer Akram Azouri’s office, and another at the NSSF’s branch in Badaro.

Azouri is a lawyer who represents Jamil Sayyed, the former head of General Security who was detained for four years in the 2005 assassinationof former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.

Other burglaries allegedly perpetrated by the gang included Seventeen Company in Ashrafieh in 2007, Analytical Testing Laboratories in Ashrafieh in 2008, Rio, Berlin, and Corleone, restaurants located in Ashrafieh and Gemmayzeh, La Caddi Supermarket in Ashrafieh, two villas in Gemmayzeh and Sabtieh, a pharmacy in the Gallery Semaan area and a diamond processing factory in Antelias in 2010.

The men also confessed to attempting to rob Bank of Kuwait and the Arab World in the town of Khaldeh.

A number of stolen items were returned to their owners while police confiscated the rest, in addition to the tools that the thieves used including masks, ropes and scissors.

(source: the daily star/lebanon)


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